Hoosiers Defeat Chattanooga
Nov. 12, 2007
UT-Chattanooga at Indiana Postgame Quotes Nov. 12, 2007
Indiana Coach Kelvin Sampson
"I thought tonight was the perfect game for this team. I couldn't have scripted it any better. They were really good and we knew that coming in. (Nicchaeus) Doaks is a first team all-conference guy. Most of the film we watched was Chattanooga versus Kentucky from last year, Davidson and UNC Greensboro. Obviously that is a really tough league. It is one of those leagues that doesn't get near the respect that it deserves. But they have really good players and they took it to us in the first half. In the second half, sometimes kids can do better than they think they can. I didn't mind the 46 that we had, I thought that was good. But the 50 we gave up and how we gave them up is what I didn't like. Sometimes a bad shot is a turnover. But all of that is a positive. Today is November 12 and that played exactly like a November 12 game needs to be played.
"The story of this game was the second half, holding them to 29 points and 33 percent shooting. Defense was great, as far as different lineups in the second half. Our ball pressure was a lot better, it was more active and more aggressive. You can't get that against a team that you come out and jump by 40 points. We needed a game like this, that first half was good for us. It was great to see us respond like we did in the second half."
On D.J.'s injury
"He just got stitches. I think he just banged his head off the floor. I just saw him a little while ago and he does have stitches."
On Eric Gordon's performance on offense and defense
"That is where he has made his biggest strides is defensively. He contests shots, but he makes freshman mistakes like they all do. That's why they call them freshmen. Jordan (Crawford) and Eric, they left some shooters in the first half, so we really had to tighten that up at halftime.
"I thought DeAndre (Thomas) and D.J. did a really good job. They were doing what we call `role replace.' They were hitting those ball screens so quick and then diving, that was just something we had to adjust to because we hadn't seen that. But then in the second half we really did a great job of guarding that and we did a good job on their ball screens. You can also see why we value a kid like Jamarcus (Ellis). He rebounds the ball really good for his size and he's a winner. He is pretty good at a lot of different things.
"They are good, they made a bunch of shots and you have to give them credit. Coach (John) Shulman is an excellent coach and they have an excellent system. Their bigs were really active, they beat us down the court. Transition defense is something we are going to have to get better at as we go, which I know we will. We got a lot better in a lot of phases in the second half. That's why its good to play against a team like that to expose your weekness. We didn't have a lot of weaknesses exposed in the two exhibition games."
On starting DeAndre Thomas in the second half
"To be more physical. He allows you to play with D.J., and I don't know that he could have done it two or three weeks ago. But that has been part of our plan. DeAndre is a good passer. His width makes up for his length, because he is not real long, but he is tough around the rim. He got his shot blocked a couple times, but he kept battling and got it back and layed it in."
On the difference in the second half
"We started off sluggish with a lot of people playing their first game. But we settled down in the second half and we picked up the defense and that was the difference."
On whether you were surprised by how well Chattanooga shot the ball in the second half
"We knew they were a good team and had a lot of talented players, so we definitely respected them coming in, but we got off to a sluggish start."
On what Coach Sampson said at halftime
"I know they were beating us in rebounding and they shot 57 percent and we had ten turnovers. He told us we had to be tougher, rebound and play defense with intensity."
On Eric Gordon
"He picked us up when we gave up the lead and put us on his back. It wasn't just his offense, he picked us up with his defense too."
On his good shooting night
"I was feeling it early, but that's what I expect to do. I expect myself to score points and bring it on defense like coach tells me."
On what Coach Sampson said at halftime
"Coach told us to pick up our intensity. We knew we were getting it going in the first half, but you could tell how we played in the second half and that we won by 20 points, so it was good for us."
Assessing his performance in his first game
"I thought I played pretty good. I tried to step up in different situations and so did a lot of other players on our team."
On his dunk at the start of the second half "It's just two points, but it's good to get the crowd going."
On what he could have done better in his debut "I think I could have played better defense in the first half. We let them get too many shots, so we just have to keep working and do better the next game."
On the most points ever by a freshman in his debut and what that means
"I don't know. I just have to come out and play and worry about working hard each day."
UTC Head Coach Jon Shulman
"I was very proud of our effort to come in here and play in front of 17,000 with a brand new team and lead at half over the ninth-ranked team in the country. I was pleased with our young men's effort. We saw a pretty good player out there. You talk about a mature freshman, (Eric) Gordon is a great player and he made great plays. You applaud people when they do that. I'm glad that we don't have to play against any of him of in our league. If I never see him again, I'll watch him on TV one day and I'll enjoy it."
On Eric Gordon
"He scored 33, but I thought he was the difference in the game defensively. They came out in the second half and put Gordon on our point guard and he did a great job. Talk about size on the point. He was very physical and did a great job defensively."
On the different pace between the first and second halves
"We played at the pace we wanted to in the first half. I really feel like the difference in the game was Gordon defensively and the way he man-handled our point guards in the second half. We couldn't get off the ball screen. We couldn't get off the plays. He was very physical. He's got great size. He's got great speed. He was dominating defensively, which disrupted everything that we wanted offensively. That young man changed the complexion of the game. That's why he's a pretty special player."
"We fouled entirely too much. We didn't get to the line like we should. You've got to give them a little credit also."
On what he learned from the game: "I learned that we have a chance to be a pretty good basketball team to come in this atmosphere and lead at the half."
Marcus Watts, forward
On the emotional rollercoaster of the game
"That's exactly what you could call it ... an emotional rollercoaster. Coming into the game and being up at halftime when we were leading, we felt pretty good about ourselves. But we knew there were a lot of things that we had to fix in order to have a great outcome. They started to get a little momentum towards the end of the half and we kind of lost it there for a minute, but we tried to pick it back up and we just stayed together. That was the main thing. We stayed together when things were going good and we wanted to stay together when things were going bad."
Kevin Bridgewaters, guard
On the changes that IU made in the second half: "They defended the ball a whole lot better and slowed me down. I think they doubled a couple of times, and they denied me pretty well and defended the guy that was trying to get me the ball.
On guarding Eric Gordon
"He's good. He's big. He's bigger than what I thought he was."
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